About the current issue of the DACA program.
2nd Place: Identifying the Effectiveness of Plant Extracts for Treating Biofilms of Escherichia coli and Myxococcus xanthus
Antibiotic resistance is a topic that is of growing concern in the field of medicine. Antibiotics act as growth blockers or act as toxins, killing the organism they affect. These biological weapons generate selective pressure leading to the current antibiotic crisis. This selective pressure causes resistant organisms to begin to emerge and over generations antibiotic resistance can develop and be spread among a bacterial population.
One of the key factors contributing to antibiotic resistance in bacteria is the ability for some bacteria to form and shield themselves within biofilms. Biofilms are masses of bacteria protected by a polysaccharide/ extracellular DNA matrix, can help prevent the penetration of antibiotics to the cells within and can unknowingly lead to lingering, viable cells that can cause further infections. Biofilms can adhere to surfaces in hospitals and can become resistant to even the harshest disinfectants. In hospitals nosocomial infections can lead to chronic illnesses and can be pointed towards surfaces contaminated with biofilms that resist antibiotics as well as disinfectants.
3rd Place: The Growth and Characterization of Psychromonas aquimarina, a New Model Organism for Climate Change
Climate change is currently affecting the Earth and will only increase with time1. A change to the environment means that wildlife will need to adapt. Adaptation occurs when an organism changes physiologically or otherwise to permit continued growth in the environment in which it resides. Scientists do not completely understand adaptation mechanisms. Psychromonas aquimarinais a novel bacterium, with little known. This bacteria will first be characterized and studied before conducting temperature studies. Psychromonas aquimarina is a psychrophile, a bacterium able to survive in colder regions where most bacteria would not. P. aquimarinais an ideal bacterium to study because climate change is affecting the poles two times the rate that it is affecting elsewhere 1. This means colder regions are experiencing harsher effects. The study of adaptation in cold tolerant organisms can give better insight to the mechanisms of thermotolerance.
Hypothesis: Psychromonas aquimarinawill be able to adapt to an increase in temperature due to heat shock proteins.
The social issue this project deals with is the budget disparity in America's public schools. This problem is important to investigate because today's children are tomorrow's leaders and if they are not being educated properly, then how do we as a society expect them to lead us in the future.
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